The newest prosumer Canon DSLR is the Canon 80D release in March 2016. It is the latest model to succeed the 70D. The Canon 80D brings several improvements over the 70D including a higher megapixel count of 24.2 vs. the 70D’s 20.2 megapixels. It also has 45 cross-type autofocus points vs. the 70D’s 19 and can also now record a time-lapse movie. The 80D also now has built-in headphone jack and NFC (near field communication) connectivity for certain wireless devices. The 18-135mm lens has been upgraded as well to include a smoother auto-focusing motor. The last notable upgrade, in my opinion, is the ability to film at 1080p, 60 frames per second vs. the 70D filming at 30 frames per second. Most of the videos you will normally see on YouTube or television are however 30 frames per second. 1080p 30 frames per second makes for perfectly great video for the sake of argument on which is better.
Sixty (60) frames per second can make for some hyper-real video that almost appears to be quicker than what your eyes will normally see at, some people love this and I certainly appreciate it; I don’t think it is necessary for YouTube or vlogging in general, though. The increased frame rates will add to the size of the video files that you will be storing and processing on your computer as well and potentially slowing you down because of the large file sizes. If you are considering the Canon 80D and want to film at 1080p at 60 frames per second, be sure that you have a capable computer such as a newer iMac, Macbook pro or high-end PC with a big SSD hard drive to store all those videos.
The extra 4-megapixels you will get from the 80D over the 70D will certainly give you a little bit more picture quality to your vlogging. Will it make a huge difference? Probably not for the average viewer of your vlog with a normal computer monitor or smartphone. The Canon 80D with the newer 18-135 lens will give some of the best videos you will ever see filmed on a consumer/prosumer grade DSLR. I recommend the 80D if you have the budget for a great vlogging camera that you will likely not need to replace for several years, if ever. The technology of DSLR cameras is likely getting close to perfect and are likely maxing out on performance as these cameras today are so far ahead of cameras even from only a couple of years ago.
I recommend the same accessories for the Canon 80D as I do for the 70D. They are so close all the same accessories and recommendations will work for either model.
The next lens that gets much praise in the vlogging world is the Canon EF-S 10-18mm. This is the lens that several pro vloggers love. The Canon EF-S 10-18mm lens is designed to give you an ultra wide angle for a camera like the 80D which is an APS-C sensor camera and not full frame model; like the more professional models like the Canon 5D Mark III. This is a great lens that will allow you to see a more fuller and wider picture with great depth but not giving you any fisheye look to the picture. This lens beats some of Canon’s other wide angle lenses because it includes image stabilization which really can make a difference if you are moving around, it is also very quite which is great for filming video. You can stand very close to the lens about a foot away or carry in selfie mode and you will appear to be at a comfortable distance in the video. This is great for audio quality as well since you will be close to the camera and can talk in your normal voice. THIS IS MY TOP PICK FOR VLOGGING LENSES!
The second lens I will thoroughly recommend is the new Canon 50mm 1.8 STM, this is the new version of the beloved 50mm “nifty fifty” lens. The older version, the 50mm 1.8 NON-STM version has been a favorite of Canon enthusiasts for years. It’s probably one of Canon’s all time best sellers, simply because the price is incredibly cheap for a lens with such good image quality. The only downside was that the overall build quality was fairly inexpensive, as the lens itself was made from a cheaper, thinner plastic and the focusing was quite loud for a lens. So recently Canon after many years gave this lens an update and now offers the 50mm 1.8 STM version, which features a higher quality construction and reduced noise from the lens when adjusting the focus. These upgrades make this lens an absolute must buy for the price. At around $125 dollars, anyone with a prosumer grade DSLR camera like the 80D should also own this lens. It will give you that really cool bokeh effect with your pictures and can also give you a slight crispy blurred background for your vlog recordings. THIS LENS IS A MUST BUY FOR PHOTOGRAPHY!
* The Canon 50mm 1.8 STM lens will not be a good vlogging lens for up close and personal vlogging such as if you are holding the camera on a selfie stick. It will, however, be a really good lens for the price; if you are for example sitting on your couch and filming from a small distance or if you are filming something outside that isn’t focusing the camera on yourself.
You will want to use a tripod with the Canon 80D to get the best results while filming. I personally recommend the same tripod Casey Neistat uses. The Joby Focus with ballhead, this tripod will allow for easy portability and travel while being versatile for on the go filming. The Canon 70D attached to the tripod can also be used similar to a selfie stick if you really want. That’s exactly how Casey Neistat does it. He actually uses the Canon 70D for most of his vlogging along with this Joby tripod. Casey Neistat has over 4,000,000 subscribers (as of this writing) to his vlog he started in 2015, you should check him out if you haven’t yet. The Joby tripod is a great all around tripod that is versatile and easily portable. It does, however, lack in only one area and that is height. It is a tripod that can be carried, wrapped around or placed anywhere that is suitable, but it doesn’t extend upwards like a more traditional tripod would. You will have to evaluate what type of video you will primarily be shooting and where you will primarily be at.
If your vlog involves you being stationary most of the time such as sitting on the couch, behind a table or desk, etc. it might be better for you personally to use a more traditional tripod. I recommend this one for a more traditional tripod, it’s a tremendous value and for the price, can’t be beaten!
You will want to add an external microphone to your 80D, I recommend the Rode VideoMic Pro with fuzzy windscreen sock. I personally use the Stereo VideoMic Pro, which is a slightly more premium model. I have not found too much difference between the models though when it comes to the finished results. A newer and more affordable option is the Rode VideoMicro which will definitely be a great alternative to the more expensive microphones. It also comes with the fuzzy windsock which is usually an additional cost of $20-30. So for what you are getting, it is a great value and the convenience factor of never having to change a 9-volt battery is priceless.
Of course, there are many accessories you can purchase for any DSLR vlogging camera, the most needed and practical are Sandisk memory cards. I recommend the Sandisk Extreme SD cards because they have a higher writing speed, meaning that you will never have to worry about taking video that you can’t get your memory card to record properly. I personally recommend the 32 or 64GB cards because they are frequently a good value for the price, you will get plenty of footage storage and also in the event that you somehow, break or lose the card you will not lose all of your videos that have been taken over time. Such as if you purchase 128GB model and have hours of video stored on it and then suddenly lose the card, you might experience a lot of heartache about having to possibly record everything again.
The second and much-appreciated accessory for the Canon 80D, is an additional battery or two or three if your vlogging. If your taking still pictures a single battery will likely last your several, several hundred pictures before needing a change. Filming, however, will drain the battery much faster. You will want to avoid running out of juice in the middle of vlogging and having to wait a few hours for the battery to charge again.
The next accessory that I will put on the mandatory list is a UV or lens cover that will protect the front side of your expensive hardware. It will keep the sun and dust and dirt off the top of your lens. A basic lens cover is all you will need. Check out this 67mm UV cover for good quality and value, if you are using the 18-135mm or 10-18mm lens.
I have included the Canon 80D in my top picks because it is likely the best vlogging camera available at this point in time. It has newer technological features that are superior to its predecessor the Canon 70D. I upgraded to the 80D myself in June 2016 and absolutely love it! I can’t say enough good things about my Canon 80D and 10-18mm vlogging lens combination. The overall quality of my vlogging is very high and the weight balance of the camera with lens and external microphone is very tolerable for most of the day. I am however writing this for you and the masses of other people out there who want to start vlogging, improve their current vlogging or short videos; I will say this camera is on the higher end of cost. The Canon 80D with the 18-135mm lens is currently around in the USA through many major retailers. The body itself without a lens can get you in the game more affordably if you don’t plan to use one of the stock lenses. That will make for an expensive purchase for some of you reading this (myself included) so keep in mind that you will probably want to purchase some accessories as well and can’t blow your whole budget on just the camera. If you already own some great Canon lenses or the Canon 10-18mm lens (excellent for vlogging) than the 80D body only might represent the best value for you.
I write my reviews as a person who doesn’t have unlimited funds to own the best gear available. The manufacturers listed on my website don’t send me free cameras, equipment or gear. I do not or have not worked for Canon, Apple, Rode or any other major brand mentioned on this growing website. So I have to be value-minded, as most of you do. I recommend the Canon 70D as my top pick because it represents the most value vs. end results in vlog quality. You will likely need other accessories to go along with your camera to really get the most out of your vlogging or short films, so for the difference in price between the Canon 70D and the Canon 80D, you could get a lot of really great accessories like a tripod, microphone, extra batteries and SD cards. That’s where my opinion stems from, if the cost is no problem for you or you plan to purchase your gear over time (piece by piece) then go with the Canon 80D, you won’t regret it!